There is no doubt that the opportunity to re-elect America's first black president contributed to record black turnout last year. But, no matter who is on the ballot in 2014 and 2016, we must continue to exercise our voice. We must continue to exercise our vote.
Biblical passages to which conservative Christians appeal on these issues can be interpreted differently. But even those convinced that conservatives do not interpret the Bible correctly in these cases must concede that they do so consistently.
I am proud to be part of organizations like the Connecticut Sun and the WNBA that put such emphasis on giving back to the communities and people that support them.
Unlike many rappers in hip-hop who are obvious industry pinheads just trying to cash into the bank, Kanye West knows more. Yet, that is perhaps the very problem: he knows more and yet does nothing to actually fix the problem.
I get that "Revolution" isn't trying to be groundbreaking drama, but it's been most compelling when it was unpredictable. This is an interesting premise that's been established. Keep us on our toes, and we'll be more invested.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just released the latest data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) on Americans' sugar consumption, and the results are quite surprising. Here are some of the findings that really grabbed my attention.
Growing up in Tulsa, my dream was to play in the NBA. I am fortunate to have been able to achieve my dream, and now helping other kids follow their dreams has proven to be just as impactful on my life as every minute that I played in the NBA.
President Obama impeccably and eloquently made the connection between the role Morehouse has played in shaping today's world and the role it will play in shaping the future.
Weather it's a luxurious excursion or a quick trip, shopping is one of life's great pleasures. Shop like a pro with these tips and your next run to Barney's will be nothing short of a success!
Truth be told, slurs are common around the water cooler, reflecting a dehumanizing view of criminal defendants that comes from years of locking them up, one person of color at a time.
After my sister died from breast cancer three years ago, I asked, during my mammogram, whether I should get tested for the breast cancer gene. I was warned that doing so, particularly if I tested positive for the gene, could mark me as an individual with a so-called pre-existing condition.
I'm honored Andrea Morehead could share some advice for other busy moms and her thoughts on early education.
Barack Obama visited Morehouse College on Sunday to give a refrain on the responsibility of Morehouse Men and black America to find dignity and progress in self-reliance, a refrain that has simultaneously proven exciting and excruciating for African Americans over the last four years.
I'd believed that I was headed for greatness, but they had revealed in me a thing that was seemingly so dirty, so disgusting that my other talents paled in comparison to the supposed vileness of being a practicing homosexual. And for this they bullied me right out of the church.
I was a 25-year-old documentary filmmaker from New York working on a show for MTV. He was a 21-year-old dancer in East Oakland trying to move on with his life after the murder of his little brother. I spent a year embedded in his life, and got a front row seat to an American epidemic.
Something is clearly wrong with our state when all the death sentences are coming out of one county. We are in a crisis when our state, which is 4.3 percent African-American, has a death row that is 100 percent African American. A broken system has produced flawed results.
I ask you, fans across America and around the world, to root for Memphis -- both the Grizzlies team and the city. Maybe a Grizzlies championship can provide just the "grits" this Southern city needs.
there's the almost ritual expectation by the public that second term presidents will be dogged by some scandal. This was the case with Eisenhower, Nixon, of course, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. This shouldn't surprise.
The loneliness of that realization, that my daughter might have to shoulder the consequences of these stigmas, made me heartsick. I'd made myself believe she would only be challenged by her race and gender, not the basic ability to speak her mind.
Black Voices continues to celebrate Black Music Month by recognizing seven CDs in the gospel genre by African American artists. These spiritual gems are some of the most overlooked works in gospel music, but BV Blogger Jawn Murray chose them as the seven projects every music lover must have!
Kim Burrell's 'Everlasting Life' (Tommy Boy/1998): Like Van Gough and Picasso, Kim Burrell's 'Everlasting Life' is considered by most musicians and singers as a priceless piece of art. Burrell was able to take her jazz-fused, raspy alto -- and all its acrobatics -- and sing an assortment of songs in a genre-blurring style. Cleverly not allowing the intricate vocal arrangements to be overshadowed, Burrell weaves in and out of energetic numbers such as 'I'll Keep Holding On' and mid-tempo grooves like 'Over and Over, Again.' Burrell's jazz appreciation is on display as she sings about God's goodness on 'I Found Him' and 'Lift Jesus.' She also mesmerizes on ballads like 'Prodigal Son,' 'Oh Lord' and 'Holy Ghost,' where her voice and the complex vocal choices she often makes captivates listeners. A classic!
JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise – 'Live: The Praise...The Worship' (Light Records/2005): There has been a separation of the soulful Sunday-morning sounds of the black church and the new-age Praise & Worship movement. On 'Live: The Praise...The Worship,' JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise finally capture the best of both worlds and find a musical balance that is not only affective, but also births songs that will be anthems for years to come. The CD kicks off like a worship service, and the energetic 'You Are So Awesome' sets the tone for what's to come. 'Incredible God,' the CD's breakout hit, is a celebratory ballad that speaks to God's goodness. The Connecticut-based choir gets contemporary, with help from Jonathan Nelson on 'Shift This Place,' while his brother Jason Nelson's matchless tenor shines on 'Oh Holy Lamb.' 'Live: The Praise...The Worship' is a call-and-response CD with material that listeners can sing along to and invoke the spirit of Sunday morning into their personal space. One of the best choir records released in the last five years!
Coko's 'Grateful' (Light Records/2006): As one of the music's most underrated voices, Cheryl Clemons, professionally known as Coko, shines in her solo gospel debut. The SWV front woman, best known for belting R&B hits like 'Weak,' 'Anything' and 'Rain,' sings sacred songs on 'Grateful,' a Grammy-nominated collection of great gospel material. Likely the best gospel recording by an R&B singer since Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace,' Coko delivers better than she ever has on this ambitious studio record. She's impressive on the remake of the Tramaine Hawkins' classic 'Look at Me,' and cleverly tackles The Clark Sisters' 'Endow Me' with the help of fellow R&B stars Faith Evans, Fantasia and Lil' Mo. Coko's soprano soars on the powerful 'Hymn Medley,' while her enchanting tone is showcased on the Donald Lawrence-produced 'Holy.' Whether you're stomping your feet to 'Clap Your Hands' or bobbing your head to the R&B-friendly title track; this CD features a variety of offerings and all of them are good! A must-have.
VaShawn Mitchell's 'Promises' (Tyscot/2007): While many of his peers are recording material with mainstream urban influence, VaShawn Mitchell writes and sings songs that are meant to be sung in church. On 'Promises,' Mitchell captures every aspect of an individual's personal relationship with God, from giving him an energetic 'Crazy Praise' to the declaration ballad 'I'll Just Lift My Hands.' The emotional 'I Worship You' tells a story of God's omnipotence, while on 'Passed Over Me,' Mitchell chants about how God's mercy kept him out of harm's way. Kim Burrell guests on 'Over and Over,' while Angela Spivey takes 'Testimony' to a whole other level. And if the praise party feel of 'For My Good' isn't enough for you, Mitchell gives you a good Holy Ghost experience with his 'Chicago Bump' as well.
Lexi's 'A Praise in the Valley' (Holy Music/2005): After years of recording R&B-friendly contemporary gospel CDs, Lexi found her niche with 'A Praise in the Valley,' a solid live recording of both Praise & Worship and Sunday morning-suited material. On the disc, Lexi brings forth the complete church experience and songs such as 'I've Been Redeemed,' 'He Got Up' and 'Testify, Lexi offers songs that listeners can sing along to. The contemporary Christian ballad – that's what they call White gospel – 'My Heart Belongs to You' featuring Nicole Binion is one of the highlights of the CD. The dynamic Kim Burrell guests on 'Not Until,' and Lexi gets help from William "Praise is What I Do" Murphy on 'Wherever the Lord Is.' Though Lexi is likely best known for being a TV personality and host, just one listen to 'Praise in the Valley' and there will be no doubt that she's a singer first!
Ann Nesby's 'In the Spirit' (Shanachie/2006): Former Sounds of Blackness singer Ann Nesby captures old-school church on 'In the Spirit.' Whether you're young or old, her interpretation of these classic gospel hits will have you clapping your hands and singing along. From Albertina Walker's 'God In Prayer' to the Thompson Community Singers' 'Rise Up and Walk,' Nesby puts her soulful stamp on traditional gospel songs in a way that channels a storefront church revival. Cleverly, Nesby delivers a devotional version of Stevie Wonder's 'Heaven is Ten Zillion Light Years Away' and even offers a funky version of Bill Withers' 'Grandma's Hands.' Whether she is singing Donald Lawrence's 'If I Can't Say a Word' or public domain hymns like 'Oh How I Love Jesus,' one really feels 'In the Spirit' on this musical journey with Nesby.
Deitrick Haddon's 'Crossroads' (Verity/2004): Deitrick Haddon is constantly reinventing himself, and usually his innovative approach to music is a little before its time. On his opus 'Crossroads,' Haddon pairs the musicianship of soul icons like Stevie Wonder and pop idols like Michael Jackson with good ole gospel numbers. The energetic 'God is Good' is a Praise & Worship and Dance Ministry favorite, while the Detroit-bred singer channels the King of Pop on 'U.N.I.T.Y.' Haddon croons like the best R&B balladeers on tracks like 'What Love,' 'Won't Stop Praying' and 'God Didn't Give Up,' while taking a more traditional gospel approach to the churchified 'Prayer Changes Things' and 'Had Not Been,' which features one of his musical mentors, Rance Allen. Overall, 'Crossroads' embodies its album's title, an immaculate blend of both mainstream music and traditional gospel both merged together by Haddon's heavenly tenor.
Check out Jawn Murray's other Black Music Month's picks: